The ongoing skirmish between Pistons players and coach John Kuester just ratcheted up a notch. Or five.
Five players were absent from Pistons morning shootaround Friday in Philadelphia in what a source told the Detroit News was a protest of the coach. Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton Chris Wilcox and Ben Wallace were not at the shootaround (although Wallace has been out for a few games dealing with a personal issue so his situation is different). Austin Daye and Rodney Stuckey showed up as shootaround ended saying they missed the bus.
There were excuses for missing the shootaround — McGrady had a headache, for example — but apparently the message was clear. Kuester said he would start the guys who did show for shootaround.
Kuester and his players have been fighting all season, with Prince and Kuester having words, Wallace basically saying the team doesn’t play hard for the coach and, and the Hamilton train wreck. Now this. And that is just the public stuff, behind closed doors the Pistons players are more than happy to complain about Kuester and how he treats and communicates with players. These are veteran players — ones past their prime, hence the 21-38 record — who expect to be treated a certain way. They feel they are not be, and things have gotten progressively worse as the season has worn on. Just like the Pistons play.
With the Pistons in the midst of an ownership sale, it doesn’t seem likely you’d see a coaching change soon. That means tension will likely continue the rest of the season. And the team will spiral downward with it. Sorry Pistons fans.